Murders Down 9.9%

The country continues to make gains in the reduction of murders.

National Security Minister, Dr. Horace Chang, says, as of this week, the country has reduced murders by almost 10-percent compared to the corresponding period last year.

Dr. Chang is also expressing confidence that once the States of Public Emergency in St. James and St. Catherine North come to an end, the gains will not be lost.

National Security Minister, Dr. Horace Chang, says thanks to the work of the security forces over the last few months, the percentage reduction of murders is nearing double digits.

This moved from a 6 percent reduction just two months ago. It’s also a dramatic reduction from the over 20-percent increase in murders earlier this year.

Minister Chang who’s headed the National Security Ministry for only a few months says it’s been a tremendous change from his routine in the Ministry of Economic Growth.

He credited the reductions to the States of Emergency and Zones of Special Operations across the country. The Minister says in order to secure the gains certain long term measures will be put in place. He says disrupting criminal activities as a first step is already underway.

Minister Chang says he’ll also be looking to improve both the quality and quantity of commissioned officers to manage the JCF.

Dr. Chang says the government intends to invest in the social improvement of communities as a means of tackling criminal subversion.

However, the Minister says there’s optimism the gains made will improve and be sustained after the emergency measures come to an end.

Meanwhile, the National Security Minister says the Cabinet will take decisive action to quash any corruption unearthed at the State-owned oil refinery, Petrojam.

Petrojam has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after several reports of irregularities have come to the fore regarding its operations.

However, Minister Chang, who’s also General Secretary of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, says the Cabinet awaits the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy’s report on the matter before any further action is taken.

Minister Chang was speaking at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Kingston at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

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